While there is not yet a full scale exodus from the Irish provinces, the IRFU must certainly be worried about the fact that some of its international stars are leaving the provinces for English and French clubs.
It was announced last month that Ian Madigan is headed to Bordeaux at the end of the season. Today, Gerry Thornley of The Irish Times has reported that tight-head prop Marty Moore will be moving to Wasps.
Moore, 24, is Leinster and Ireland’s second choice in the position, behind Mike Ross for both province and country. However Ross is pushing on, and this may be the 36 year-old’s final season. Therefore, it is widely anticipated that Moore will be a regular starter for the coming years.
Indeed Ross also spent a portion of his career in England, leaving Munster for Harlequins in 2006, before joining Leinster in 2009. However, the Limerick native was not capped internationally until he returned to Ireland, and this stands as a warning to the likes of Moore that moving abroad will damage his international chances.
Moore has been capped 10 times for Ireland, all coming from the bench. At Wasps, he will be coached by Dai Young, a former Wales and Lions prop, who won 54 caps during a playing career spanning 15 years. Young played on three Lions tours, including the successful 1997 tour of South Africa.
It is believed that Moore can thrive under the tutelage of Young, and can grow with an improving Wasps side.
While this may be a blow for Leinster and Ireland, it is certainly good news for Tadhg Furlong, who is regarded as the third best tight-head prop in the country, but is also third choice for Leinster. It now looks likely that Furlong will be first choice at the RDS next season, and it is an opportunity which could be the making of the 23 year-old.